Thorpe Bill To Eliminate “Unreasonable” DUC Payments Wins Unanimous Approval

Arizona Capitol dome. [Photo from Arizona Open Meetings]
County Total
Apache $87,300
Cochise $162,700
Coconino $160,500
Gila $65,900
Graham $46,800
Greenlee $12,000
La Paz $24,900
Maricopa $0
Mohave $187,400
Navajo $122,800
Pima $1,115,900
Pinal $218,300
Santa Cruz $51,600
Yavapai $206,200
Yuma $183,900

The members of the Arizona House of Representatives unanimously passed Rep. Bob Thorpe’s bill, HB2274, intended to eliminate disproportionate uncompensated care (DUC) payments made by counties to the state for hospitalization and medical care cost incurred by the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.

“For 17 years, the counties have contributed more than $31 million to this disproportionate uncompensated care pool without one penny being used for the intended purpose,” said Representative Bob Thorpe. “It’s unreasonable to place these costs on the backs of counties, and this is a practice we must eliminate.”

“This is the first step in developing an alternative method to continue providing care for low income patients without counties funding the bill,” explained Thorpe.

Thorpe gave a “special thanks to Chairman Livingston and Representatives Leach and Cobb for all of their work to help rein in these outrageous county cost shifts.”

HB 2274:

Provisions
1. Repeals session law authorizing hospitalization and medical care contribution (also known as DUC) payments in the FY 2018 Health Budget Reconciliation Bill. (Sec. 1)
2. Stipulates that the state has no obligation to refund monies already paid. (Sec. 1)
3. Contains legislative findings. (Sec. 2)

Current Law
The FY 2018 Health BRB set the amount of TPT revenue that is withheld for county contributions of DUC for hospitalization and medical care services administered by AHCCCS. The withheld TPT revenue comes from all counties, excluding Maricopa, and totals $2,646,200. These contributions are excluded from county expenditure limits.